Pope Francis: Nagging

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When PopeWatch was a boy his mother once told him to eat everything on his plate because there were kids starving in China.  PopeWatch looked down at his plate and advised his mother that he would be happy to have this food shipped to any hungry child in China who wanted it.  Instead of the slap that cheeky comment deserved, PopeWatch’s mother said, good comeback, and told him to clean his plate.  One of the salient, and tiresome, features about this current pontificate is just how much of a nag Pope Francis is:

Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry,” he said during his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square.

His words came on the day the United Nations launched an anti-food waste campaign to mark World Environment Day.

According to data provided by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 1.3 billion tons of food — one third of the world’s total food production — are lost or wasted every year. In the United States, 30 percent of all food is thrown away each year.

“Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see its real value,” Francis said, comparing this attitude to the frugality of “our grandparents” who “used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food.”

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope’s constant nagging about everything under the sun would be more tolerable if it also were not usually accompanied with rhetorical excess and be factually challenged.  Throwing out uneaten food has nothing to do with taking food from the poor, and a culture of consumerism helps to ensure that the poor are fed.  It is in those countries that foster consumerism that the poor are best aided by private charity and public welfare and are far more likely to suffer obesity than hunger pangs.  It is in retrograde Communist regimes like Cuba, or in states, Venezuela comes to mind, misguided enough to hate free markets as much as the Pope does, that the poor suffer keen want.  If the Pope actually wanted to do something about hunger, he would encourage all states to embrace free market capitalism.  That might not be emotionally as satisfying as yelling at the rest of us to clean our plates, but it would have the virtue of being a long term solution to the problem the Pope decries.


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  1. One might guess this pope never let any food escape his grasp.
    Progressives have two very certain personality aberrations; the assumption of intellectual superiority and the assumption of moral superiority. Since, in their conceit, they believe they are the ‘good guys’ there is no limit to their scolding of others. For example, our poor pontiff ‘believes’ in the sham of CO2 caused global warming despite all the evidence against it and he insists in a moral sense that we must succumb to his inanity even to the point of employing secular humanists to force the issue upon us. Look up Maureen Mullarkey’s piece on this pope in First Things last January. She nailed his hide to a barn wall.

  2. Pope Francis … please don’t come to our country to lecture us. If you want to lecture you could start in Cuba with their abysmal human rights record.

  3. Is throwing away food common, besides, perhaps restaurants? The Bear has this thing called “leftovers.” “Leftovers” are lovingly preserved in the refrigerator so the Bear can enjoy them at another meal. No food gets thrown away by the Bear. (It must be admitted that there is seldom food left over to become “leftovers” however.)

    The Bear thinks the Pope believes he is preaching in 1st century Palestine. Everything must sound “Jesusy” without translating it to the realities of our age. He’s a provincial who lacks a broad perspective.

  4. Found the source for the food waste estimate:

    Can’t find the original study, but Timothy Jones published 2003 is cited as the source for the 30% claim.

    It’s estimates. Although estimates based on looking at ag methods.

    America is really big into food safety, so– yes, I threw away the pound of pork roast strips that was thawing in the back of the fridge and got knocked down behind the veggie drawer, because they smelled bad.

    All you have to do to create a massive food waste problem is to draw the “it’s safe to eat” line a bit more generously than most people……

  5. Pope Francis should ask himself how is it that food is abundant and often wasted in some places and not in others. Which place would he rather live?

  6. “His words came on the day the United Nations launched an anti-food waste campaign to mark World Environment Day.”
    Coordinated effort?

  7. How much food aid goes to waste sitting on docks and in warehouses while 3rd world kleptrocrats and corrupts NGO hangers on squabble over whose beak gets wetted first?

  8. One of the salient, and tiresome, features about this current pontificate is just how much of a nag Pope Francis is…

    Perhaps Pope Francis is getting in touch with his feminine side.

  9. It’s not even so much the nagging that gets on the nerves, its the banal, empty pettiness of the content. If he were nagging people about things that are actually related to the life of the Faith it might go down a little better. He’s the pope. Can’t he nag us about getting to confession regularly? About not watching bad films or looking at dirty pictures on the internet? How about saying something about how only a tiny fraction of people calling themselves Catholic actually go to Mass every Sunday. The Church has lots of lists of things we’re supposed to do but that hardly anyone even knows about. How about nagging us to do the six precepts of the Church? Or what about the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy, since the whole “mercy” thing seems to be your bag. Remember those Your Holiness? Remember that whole supernatural part of the Catholic Faith? No? Never heard of them in Jesuit school while they were teaching you your socialist cant? Too bad.

  10. Good comment Hilary–so true. You are asking for Pope Francis to speak as the leader of the Catholic Church about eternal life and how we can get there. I don’t believe he can do this as he seems to be believe that we should make a heaven on earth by feeding the poor, fixing the climate, etc. In other words Hilary, Pope Francis is not really a Catholic but rather a socialistic Protestant, if that.

  11. Sadly, I stopped worrying about wasting food when cities and towns across America implemented laws saying that it’s illegal to feed the homeless. Years & years ago, a big, fat priest talked about what a sin it was to waste food. And when I told him, my dad laughed and said, “I guess gluttony is no longer a deadly sin.”

  12. “Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we receive from Thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.”

  13. How much food aid goes to waste sitting on docks and in warehouses while 3rd world kleptrocrats and corrupts NGO hangers on squabble over whose beak gets wetted first?

    That brings up another angle– how much is “thrown away” in the same manner that expensive electronics “fall off the truck”?

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